Preparing Your Plants for Winter

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Well, it looks like the cold weather has finally found us here in sunny Central Florida! This is just a friendly reminder from your local landscape experts to take care of your plants as the weather changes. While we do not have too many nights where it is cold enough to cause concern for your plants, if they are not taken care of for just two or three nights, they might not bloom or survive to the spring.

Why cover your plants?

Frost Damage to Magnolia (Photo courtesy of www.extension.

Before we started taking plants from around the world and moving them to our backyards, plants stayed in a particular region and were adapted to those weather conditions. When people move these plants from those areas, they need special care in weather conditions that are harsher than climates they are used to. By covering your plants when it is expected to freeze overnight, you are trying to hold in the heat being released by the ground and you are protecting it from the wind.  You can buy special coverings for your plants at your local improvement store but most people just use sheets. Make sure that the sheet touches the ground where possible. Be sure to remove your covering first thing in the morning so that your plant can get enough sunlight. If you leave the sheet on during the day, it can develop condensation on the inside, which could freeze overnight, damaging your plant.  In addition, you may want to add more mulch to the base of your plant to help keep the roots of the plants from freezing. This same mulch will also keep the roots moist and cool during the summer months. Don’t forget to bring container plants indoors whenever possible.

Tropical plants, like the Croton above, need special care in freeze conditions.

Which plants are most at risk?

There are some plants that will be more affected by the freeze than others. Take special care with tropical plants. These plants are not adapted to cold weather and should be covered well. Any recently planted or transplanted plants or any plants that still have new fall growth on them might experience more damage from the freeze than your other plants. Plants that are planted close together or plants whose leaves grow closely together are better protected than other plants. Be sure your plant has plenty of water and sunlight the day before the freeze to protect against the high winds.


If you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a free estimate, email us or call us at 407-935-9151!